Why Galway

Arts & Culture

Owing to the rich cultural heritage and creative exuberance of the city and its unique countryside – Irish-speaking Connemara to the west, the dramatic Burren to the south – Galway has long been designated Ireland’s capital of culture. In 2020, Galway earned the title European Capital of Culture.

In October 2019, Lonely Planet included Galway in its Top 10 Cities to Visit in 2020. Bohemian Galway’s “lively atmosphere” and “vibrant culture” earning it the 4th Spot. In addition to being a UNESCO City of Film, Travel & Leisure magazine named Galway its Friendliest City in the World.

Galway has been awarded an environmental EU Green Leaf for 2017 and has was a European Region of Gastronomy in 2018.

Sitting in the centre of the Wild Atlantic Way, Galway’s outdoor life and activities make the most of its dramatic countryside.

Baboró International Arts Festival for Children is Ireland’s flagship international arts festival devoted exclusively to children and families.


Cúirt  is an old Irish word for a court of poetry and is the name given to a week-long festival of literature that attracts creators and punters alike from all over the world every April.


Macnas is a performance company based in Galway. Its public performances are noted for being “pioneering, inventive and radical” in style. Its parades have been a centre-point of Galway festivals, drawing huge crowds on to the city streets.


Galway International Arts Festival is an annual event that takes in July and covers a range of art forms.

Galway International Oyster Festival deemed one of Europe’s longest-running food extravaganzas, the Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival is held on the very last weekend in September.


The Galway Races is not just a competition for horses, it truly is a festival that is a key part of the Galway calendar.


Galway Film Fleadh is a week-long international film festival taking place every July. The central goal is to be a platform for the boldest new films, and to bring audiences & filmmakers from around the world together.